Note: This cloud version of Thymesia was tested on super fast 100 Mb broadband with a wired LAN connection and 5G WIFI.
The Kingdom of Hermes has fallen into a time of calamity. In a world where the use of powerful alchemy was once widespread and welcome, things have gone terribly wrong. The now blood-soaked streets are filled with plague-ridden monstrosities and it’s up to you, Corvus, to take out the mutated trash.
OverBorder Studios’ Thymesia is the latest in a long line of Soulslike experiences that attempt to capture the magic of FromSoftware while adding a few of their own twists and wrinkles to the game for good measure. How is strictly With gender, we have the same basic ground rules as always at work here. Bonfires, now known as beacons, dot the landscape, providing a chance to rest and boost your stats while also spawning all nearby enemies. Death sees you leave your collected memories behind, giving you the chance to collect them again, and there’s a central nexus, here known as Pilgrimage Hill, that you can return to whenever you want to wallow in the game’s melancholic atmosphere or have an underwhelming experience. Brief chat with the NPC residing there.
Yes, if you’ve played Soulsborne you already know the general gist of how things play out in Thymesia, but this is a game that has managed to garner more attention in the lead up to its release because, well, it looks the business. There’s a good art style at work here, Corvus is a quick and flashy protagonist, and at first glance the haunted forests and bloodstained streets you claw and slash your way through give off a bit of a Bloodborne vibe that , let’s be honest. , it’s a vibe worth giving off.
On top of this, the game’s combat has enough fresh ideas to warrant some investigation. Corvus attacks enemies with a combination of fast saber slashes and a heavier, slower claw attack. The general idea is that enemy health bars have two items that you need to work on to destroy. Cut them with your saber and you will see the white bar turn green, indicating that you are dealing damage to the wound. The target will regenerate and recover all of the exposed green area unless you then hit with your claw, permanently removing the green portion and dealing lasting real damage in addition to temporary wounds. Bring the bar down to zero and your enemy will open up for a finishing move that is indicated by a glowing red dot stolen directly from Sekiro.
It’s a system that encourages you to stay ahead, getting stuck on enemies with combos (no stamina to worry about here) to prevent your wounds from regenerating. On top of this, Thymesia features a nifty plague weapon mechanic that allows you to steal whatever weapon abilities your current enemy possesses by charging up your claw attack and then unleashing it, sending Corvus forward to rip their weapon essence from them. for single use.
The plague weapons on offer give you plenty of options to play with, there are a total of 21 to collect, and cover great hammers, whips, swords, axes, scythes and more exotic leeches, adding a layer of strategy. As you progress through the levels, collect memory shards to upgrade your stats and abilities with an eye on the boss lurking at the end of each area.
After a while, it will also unlock plague weapons permanently in your inventory, giving you a chance to slot them into a second slot and giving Corvus a combination of permanent and one-use plague weapons to play with. As you attack enemies, you’ll receive random drops of weapon-specific upgrade points that can then be used to strengthen your collection’s attack stats. Use your claw to attack a hammer wielding enemy and they will drop hammer buffs, sword wielding enemies will drop sword buffs, and so on.
When it comes to upgrading Corvus’s base stats, you only need to worry about pumping your memory shards into strength, vitality, and blight attributes, and each level you gain rewards you with a talent point to use in the skill tree of Corvus. game talent. It is here that you can freely unlock and then reset various abilities at your convenience to build a Corvus that best suits your playstyle. You may want to inject all your points into your saber, for example, making sure it returns a lot of energy to you while attacking (after all, energy is what you’ll need to perform plague weapon attacks) and there are upgrades for your claw as well. , dodge, deflect skills, feather darts, and more general stuff like buffs to your attacks when your health drops below a certain level.
The core combat system here is actually quite solid and unique, at least on paper. However, you may have noticed that we mentioned feather darts, dodges, and deflections in the last paragraph, and this is where things start to fall apart a bit. Thymesia has too many systems in play for its own good, some of which feel completely useless and most of which feel like they need a bit of refinement and tweaking due to how annoyingly narrow their windows of opportunity are.
Take the game’s feather darts as an example. These are used to stagger an enemy’s charged attacks and delay wound regeneration, and are deployed by quickly pressing the left trigger. After learning about this mechanic in the tutorial, we completely forgot about it. It just feels unnecessary, it does very little damage, at least until you level it up, and simply dodging charged attacks and then moving forward for a few saber and claw strikes feels like the best option.
This same issue extends to the game’s diversion system. Time your block with the left shoulder button and you’ll deflect an enemy’s attack. That seems fine to me. But the rewards for doing this aren’t worth how difficult it is to master the extremely tight and complicated timing. You don’t open up to the enemy for a graceful response here, so it’s much better to just dodge out of the way.
Even dodging has its issues though, it feels unrefined, especially on this version of Switch Cloud, which we’ll talk about a bit, and for the most part we chose to hit the dodge button rather than try to get into a groove. of perfect getaways.
It all results in combat that feels loose and baggy on the defense side, never getting to a place where the player feels like they’re in complete control, weaving in and out of enemy attacks and responding when the opportunity arises. In short, offensively, Thymesia feels good for the most part, but otherwise it’s a messy mix of mechanics that could and should have been streamlined. Remove feathers and deflection and just give us blight weapons, saber/claw attacks and dodge and this may have felt much more skillful overall.
Outside of combat, well, you have to take into account the independent nature and cheap price of Thymesia here. There are only three distinct areas in the game, with a small hub and a final small boss region to spice things up a bit. Not too much in the way of variety overall. You’ll run through an area once and face its boss, then be offered a series of side quests that have you return to a slightly different version of that same area to collect something or fight a secondary boss. This equates to a lot of backtracking and replay in both scenery and enemy types, and it’s a problem that’s exacerbated early on by a big first boss that we needed to fight for a good few hours in order to beat. It’s not an ideal start.
This grinding early in the game not only left a bad taste in our mouths, but also left us feeling completely outmatched for the rest of our adventure, leading to run-of-the-mill enemy encounters and boss battles that felt much easier. later in the campaign than anything we find in their opening hours. Or at least it would have if we hadn’t been in a constant struggle with terrible input lag, image quality issues, artifacts, and other issues related to this cloud release.
We have had good experiences in the past with people like Hitman 3 – Cloud Versionand yes, we have had serious problems (Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version), but here things are at their worst. Due to the fast-paced, combat-heavy nature of Thymesia’s gameplay and the narrow windows of success to successfully deflect, dodge, and attack, the input lag and image quality issues here result in an experience that truly is unplayable. on Switch. Consider making your way through Dark Souls for the first time with heavy lag, unresponsive controls, and completely out of order timing attack animations and you’ll get a general idea of how this works.
Of course, we realize that your experience may vary depending on your internet settings, but we did test this game on a very capable 100Mb 5G Wi-Fi. Y a wired connection with very little success. You only need to take a look at the screenshots throughout this review to get an idea of how blurry and unreadable this game looks in combat. Muddy picture quality and compromised inputs in this type of action-packed, demanding game is simply not something we can live with, unfortunately.
In the end, what you have here is a very poor version of a game that is already a pretty average experience, even when played on hardware that can run it flawlessly. Thymesia’s combat is a mixed bag, its level design is rather bland, and its lore underdeveloped. If it had worked well on Switch, we would have recommended it to only the most ardent Soulslike fans. However, since the performance of this cloud version is so intolerably poor, this is one version of OverBorder Studio’s standalone adventure that we recommend you avoid.